I Celebrate Life (the second and last movement of the Light Cycle suite), commissioned by Jennifer Gaderlund for the Graham Middle School Choirs, sets the beautiful poem by Rhoda Gordon, the composer’s late grandmother, for SATB (orig. SSA) Choir and Piano. The piece opens with an excited yet hushed ostinato in the Piano. The choir sings the first four lines of the poem by repeating the beginning line and adding the next line until it is complete, utilizing the modern technique of additive processes popular in Minimalism. In the more pensive middle section, the ostinato transforms into a more poignant texture as the Choir “realizes the joy of being through seeing the glorious creation” that they are a part of. The ostinato then speeds up and returns to the hushed excitement heard in the opening. The piece concludes with the Choir building up to the most important line of the text: “The most powerful light to celebrate by is love.”
This piece is suitable for any Mixed-Voice ensemble.
The holiday season is upon us and thus so is holiday music. I have several upcoming performances of my holiday music, including a premiere of my brand new piece Light in the Darkness, a brand new arrangement of Joy to the World, and my arrangement of What Child Is This. This is my favorite time of the … Continue reading November 24th, 2018
This up-tempo arrangement of Joy to the World, commissioned by Jonathan Bautista and dedicated to Nova Vocal Ensemble, features lively rhythms, playful dialogue between the voices, and a fresh reharmonization of this beloved carol. Most of the melodic, rhythmic, and motivic counterpoint is adapted from another beloved carol, Deck the Halls.
This carol would fit well in any holiday-themed concert, Festival of Lessons and Carols, or sacred Christmas and/or Epiphany service.
We Three Kings is a traditional Christmas Carol telling the story of three Magi who followed a star to Bethlehem, leading them to the infant Jesus. This arrangement, commissioned by Jonathan Bautista and dedicated to Nova Vocal Ensemble, features a modern reharmonization and an original motive (introduced in the tenors’ first three notes) that is woven throughout the entire piece. Each choir part is featured throughout the arrangement, with verses being sung by sopranos, altos, and tenors. The original motive is passed between the parts in a contrapuntal texture, making this a good arrangement for any choir looking for fun interplay and hocket-like textures.
This arrangement would fit well in any holiday-themed concert, Festival of Lessons and Carols, or sacred Christmas and/or Epiphany service.Continue reading We Three Kings
“Two Friends” (the first movement of the choral song cycle As Time Stops To Rest) paints a peaceful scene of two friends losing track of time as they sit by the ocean enjoying their time together. The piece opens with serene rolled chords in the piano, which continue throughout almost the entirety of the movement. The constant rolling of the piano creates a sense of ocean waves continuously ebbing and flowing. The opening tenor solo describes the tranquil setting and is then joined by the full choir as “warmth and happiness intermix to form an afternoon shared by two close friends”. The movement features lush harmonies and detailed ensemble interplay. The movement concludes with the continued rolled chords in the piano and a final soft low cluster, as if the texture is sinking into the ocean.
As Time Stops To Rest is a three-movement song cycle for SSAATTBB Choir and Piano, with featured soprano and tenor soloists. The cycle is dedicated to the composer’s late aunt Susan Jordan. The works sets three poems from a larger set of poetry entitled As Time Stops To Rest, also written by Susan Jordan. The song cycle has an overall arch form of peace followed by tragedy and loss, ultimately giving way to a final sense of peace.
Two Friends may be performed as part of the entire song cycle or as a stand-alone piece.Continue reading Two Friends
The Candlelight Was Burning Low is a quiet and pensive original Christmas carol describing a dark and cold winter before Jesus Christ was born on Christmas morning. The text paints a picture of the world waiting in quiet darkness for light, unaware that it’s savior and eternal light is about to be born.
This carol would make a wonderful addition to an Advent Festival of Lessons and Carols or a candlelight prayer service.Continue reading The Candlelight Was Burning Low
What Child Is This? is a traditional English Christmas Carol composed in the 1800s. This arrangement, commissioned by Jonathan Bautista and Nova Vocal Ensemble, fuses the melody and lyrics of “What Child is This” with motives and harmonies found in “Carol of the Bells”, a Ukrainian carol. Each voice has a chance to sing the various motives drawn from “Carol of the Bells”, making this a fun choral piece that combines two beloved Christmas carols.Continue reading What Child is This
Alleluia is part of the sacred mass tradition and is associated with praise and acclamations. This modern setting of the Alleluia text, commissioned by Choral Arts Initiative for the 2019 PREMIERE|Project Festival, opens with a fanfare-like piano solo. The choir then enters and slowly builds in excitement before reaching a climax. The B section of this piece explores different choral textures, using flowing lines and dynamic swells. After the flowing triplet section, the opening material returns and builds until the final joyous ending.
This bright Alleluia setting would fit well into any sacred service, especially Easter Sunday.Continue reading Alleluia